NFL: Washington Football Team Distancing Itself From Old Nickname Announcing New Policies for Home Games

by Suzanne Halliburton

The Washington Football Team wants no hints of its past mascot in its stadium, going forward.

The team updated its new stadium protocols for the 2021 season. And among the new rules for home games was this note:

 “We are excited to welcome everyone back wearing their Burgundy & Gold. However, Native American-inspired ceremonial headdresses or face paint may no longer be worn into the stadium.”

You can check out other rules here.

As fans of the Washington Football Team and the NFL know, the squad used to be called the Redskins. Native American groups for years pushed to have the football team change its name since the mascot was considered a racial slur. The mascot of the Washington Football Team always sported a name associated with Native Americans. When the team was based in Boston, the players were called the “Braves.” By 1937, when the organization moved to Washington, D.C., team owners had shifted to “Redskins.”

After decades of protest, Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder finally tweaked the name months before the start of the 2020 season. It has no mascot name. It’s more of a nod to the team names in soccer. And it’ll stay this way through 2021.

Here’s a Cool Name for Washington Football Team: the Wild Hogs

But the Washington Football Team does have a plan. Back in April, team president Jason Wright sent a survey to team season ticket holders. He asked that the team’s most passionate fans weigh in on potential names. And here are the nominees: Monarchs, Presidents, Wild Hogs, Riders, Capital City Football Club, Redwolves, Aviators, Wayfarers, Ambassadors, Griffin, Warriors, Armada, Rising, Swifts, Commanders, Pilots, Rubies, Renegades and DC Football Club.

The Wild Hogs are a reference to the team’s nickname for its offensive line. They’ve been the Hogs for 40 years. Fans love to wear hog costumes to their games to celebrate the big guys in the trenches.

Could the Wild Hogs have a snout up on the other nicknames? It came from within the team. Back in the early 1980s, offensive line coach Joe Bugel told his guys to gather for a team meeting during training camp. Bugel recalled in interviews that he told the line: “Ok, you hogs, let’s go.”

And Bugel said of the name: “Well it caught on fire. Everyone started calling them hogs. The best thing about that is when you get a nickname, there’s no jealousy on a football team. So the guys loved it.”

Bugel also elaborated in an interview with the Washington Post.

“They are short guys with big bellies,” Bugel said of the line. “I started to say to the whole line at practice, ‘Okay you hogs, let’s go down in the bullpen and hit those sleds.’ Some guys might have resented it, but these guys loved it.”

The Washington Football Team is expected to have a new name in place by 2022. Maybe the Washington Wild Hogs will be a thing. Or maybe our nation’s capital will have a more regal nickname like the Monarchs or Presidents. So stay tuned.